Make Your Writing Pop: An Essential List of Strong Verbs

Written words exploding

Written words exploding

Strong verbs are an important part of any piece of writing. They can make your sentences more vivid and engaging, allowing your readers to visualize the scene in their minds. Strong verbs also help add a sense of action and movement to your writing, making it more exciting and interesting. They can also help to make your writing more concise and direct, helping to get your point across quickly and effectively.

But it’s not an easy thing to do. (It never is, is it?)
Perhaps we can start with a timeless lesson from the book, The Elements of Style. The authors taught us to “Write with nouns and verbs, not with adjectives and adverbs.” Essentially, when writing, you should focus on using strong, precise nouns and verbs to convey your message, rather than relying on adjectives and adverbs to fill in the gaps. By doing this, you can create a clear and concise message that will be easier for readers to understand.

Replace These Verbs in Your Writing

So, how do you know what verbs to actually replace in your writing? Well, it kind of comes down to the feeling. I’m sure we all know you’re supposed to edit your work before submitting it, but this is one important reason for that. Take your essay, turn off the music, and slowly read it out loud to yourself.
Do any of the sentences sound kind of dull or bland? That might mean you’ve been repeating your words too often. Or, another simple reason; you’re using boring verbs. There are a few common tropes to look out for if you’re at this stage. Namely, try to spot your verbs that use an “ing”, are bland state-of-being verbs, or are one too many adverbs. We’ll quickly discuss them below and afterward, you can find a list of 300 strong words to use throughout your writing.

Change Your Verbs with “ing” Suffixes

Changing your verbs that have an “ing” suffix is an important part of writing. It helps make your sentences more interesting and lively, as well as helping to create a better flow. Plus, it can help you avoid sounding repetitive. Here are a few examples of how you can switch up your “ing” verbs:

Before: I was running to the store.
After: I sprinted to the store or I ran to the store.

Before: He was eating lunch.
After: He devoured lunch or he ate lunch.

Before: She was walking home.
After: She strolled home or she walked home.

By making small changes like these, you can add some extra flavor to your writing and make it more engaging for readers.

Replace Your Adverbs With Verbs

Replace Your Adverbs With Verbs is an important writing tool to help make your writing more vivid and engaging. It’s a great way to make your sentences more concise and effective by swapping out adverbs for verbs. This can help your writing stand out from the crowd and make it more memorable.

Here are a few before and after examples:

Before: She quickly ran away.
After: She sprinted away.

Before: He softly whispered the secret.
After: He murmured the secret.

Before: She angrily slammed the door shut.
After: She banged the door shut.

A quick way to do this while editing is simply to search for “ly” and replace some of the words with more vivid verbs.

Replace Your State-of-Being Verbs

Replacing state-of-being verbs is an important step for making your writing more interesting and active. State-of-being verbs are words like “is,” “was,” “were,” and “am” that describes a state of being, but don’t really add any action to your writing. Instead of using these verbs, you can replace them with stronger, more descriptive verbs that will make your writing come alive!

Here are a few examples:

Before: He was happy.
After: He grinned with delight.

Before: She is sad.
After: She sobbed uncontrollably.

Before: They were angry.
After: They fumed with rage.

So, keep an eye out for the boring old state-of-being verbs that look like the following, and consider replacing them:

Been, Had, Do, Does, Did, Can, Are, Could, Am, Is, Will, Would, Should, May, Have, Has, Might, Mus,t Shall, Would, Was

List of 300 Strong Verbs

Now let’s get into the meat and potatoes, a huge list of strong verbs to replace the more boring ones in your writing, and bring the piece to life!

1. Accelerate
2. Achieve
3. Acquire
4. Act
5. Adapt
6. Address
7. Administer
8. Advance
9. Advocate
10. Affirm
11. Amplify
12. Analyze
13. Appraise
14. Apprehend
15. Approve
16. Argue
17. Arrange
18. Articulate
19. Ascertain
20. Assemble
21. Assess
22. Assign
23. Assimilate
24. Assure
25. Attain
26. Augment
27. Authenticate
28. Balance
29. Ban
30. Bankroll
31. Bar
32. Bolster
33. Bridge
34. Broaden
35. Budget
36. Build
37. Calculate
38. Call
39. Capitalize
40. Cast
41. Catalog
42. Centralize
43. Certify
44. Challenge
45. Chart
46. Clarify
47. Classify
48. Coalesce
49. Collaborate
50. Command
51. Commence
52. Commit
53. Compile
54. Comply
55. Compose
56. Comprehend
57. Compress
58. Conceive
59. Conclude
60. Condense
61. Conduct
62. Confer
63. Configure
64. Confirm
65. Connect
66. Consolidate
67. Construct
68. Consult
69. Contain
70. Contemplate
71. Continually
72. Contract
73. Contradict
74. Control
75. Convert
76. Coordinate
77. Correlate
78. Corroborate
79. Create
80. Critique
81. Cultivate
82. Curtail
83. Decentralize
84. Decipher
85. Declare
86. Decode
87. Deduce
88. Defend
89. Define
90. Deliberate
91. Deliver
92. Demonstrate
93. Denote
94. Depict
95. Derive
96. Describe
97. Designate
98. Determine
99. Develop
100. Devise
101. Diagnose
102. Differentiate
103. Direct
104. Discern
105. Discharge
106. Disclose
107. Discontinue
108. Discriminate
109. Disseminate
110. Distinguish
111. Divert
112. Document
113. Draft
114. Duplicate
115. Elaborate
116. Eliminate
117. Embrace
118. Enact
119. Encapsulate
120. Encompass
121. Encourage
122. Endorse
123. Engage
124. Enhance
125. Enlist
126. Enrich
127. Ensure
128. Establish
129. Evaluate
130. Examine
131. Execute
132. Exert
133. Expand
134. Expedite
135. Experiment
136. Explicate
137. Explore
138. Express
139. Fabricate
140. Facilitate
141. Fashion
142. Finalize
143. Forge
144. Formulate
145. Foster
146. Function
147. Generate
148. Govern
149. Grasp
150. Guide
151. Harmonize
152. Hasten
153. Identify
154. Illuminate
155. Illustrate
156. Implement
157. Improve
158. Inaugurate
159. Incorporate
160. Increase
161. Indicate
162. Induce
163. Infer
164. Initiate
165. Innovate
166. Inspect
167. Install
168. Instigate
169. Instruct
170. Integrate
171. Interpret
172. Interview
173. Introduce
174. Invent
175. Investigate
176. Isolate
177. Justify
178. Launch
179. Leverage
180. Liberate
181. List
182. Locate
183. Maximize
184. Mediate
185. Moderate
186. Monitor
187. Motivate
188. Negotiate
189. Nominate
190. Normalize
191. Obtain
192. Operate
193. Optimize
194. Order
195. Organize
196. Originate
197. Overcome
198. Participate
199. Perceive
200. Perfect
201. Perform
202. Persuade
203. Pinpoint
204. Pioneer
205. Plan
206. Prepare
207. Prescribe
208. Present
209. Preserve
210. Prioritize
211. Process
212. Procure
213. Produce
214. Program
215. Promote
216. Propose
217. Prosecute
218. Protect
219. Provision
220. Publish
221. Pursue
222. Qualify
223. Quantify
224. Query
225. Rate
226. Rationalize
227. Reaffirm
228. Realign
229. Reassess
230. Rebuild
231. Reconcile
232. Reconstruct
233. Recruit
234. Refine
235. Reformulate
236. Regulate
237. Reinforce
238. Reiterate
239. Rejuvenate
240. Relate
241. Release
242. Remedy
243. Render
244. Renew
245. Renovate
246. Reorganize
247. Rephrase
248. Replicate
249. Report
250. Represent
251. Reproduce
252. Require
253. Resolve
254. Respond
255. Restructure
256. Retain
257. Retrieve
258. Revise
259. Revitalize
260. Revolutionize
261. Reward
262. Route
263. Salvage
264. Satisfy
265. Secure
266. Segment
267. Select
268. Separate
269. Simulate
270. Solicit
271. Solve
272. Spearhead
273. Specify
274. Standardize
275. Stimulate
276. Strategize
277. Streamline
278. Structure
279. Substantiate
280. Supplement
281. Sustain
282. Synthesize
283. Tailor
284. Target
285. Testify
286. Transform
287. Translate
288. Transmit
289. Unify
290. Unite
291. Utilize
292. Validate
293. Verify
294. Veto
295. Visualize
296. Vitalize
297. Voluntarily
298. Weigh
299. Withdraw
300. Work

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